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China Vice Finance Minister Urges ‘High Alert’ on Local Debt

China Vice Finance Minister Urges ‘High Alert’ on Local Debt

A Chinese vice finance minister warned the nation must be on “high alert” to the dangers of rising debt in companies set up by local governments to fund investment projects.

“Prominent risks are not only in the shadow-banking area but also in local government financing vehicles, and we do need to be on high alert,” Zhu Guangyao said at a briefing in Beijing today. At the same time, companies are mainly investing in infrastructure projects with relatively good operations and repayment abilities, he said. Read more of this post

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PBOC to Extend Cash Crunch as Zhou Discovers Flaws

PBOC to Extend Cash Crunch as Zhou Discovers Flaws

China’s finance companies predict central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan will extend a cash crunch, albeit without June’s dramatic swings, as he calls for the market to “discover and correct” excessive lending.

The seven-day repurchase rate, which measures interbank funding availability, may average 4 percent in the third quarter, compared with 3.62 percent in the past year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts. The rate surged to a record 10.8 percent on June 20, and averaged 4.49 percent last quarter, the highest since the National Interbank Funding Center started compiling the data in 2003. The similar rate in India fell 73 basis points. Read more of this post

China Probes Tetra Pak for Abuse of Market Control; China Probes 60 Drugmakers in Effort to Curb Drug Prices

China Probes Tetra Pak for Abuse of Market Control, Xinhua Says

China is probing Switzerland-based food-packaging company Tetra Pak Group for possible abuse of market dominance, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing the State Administration for Industry & Commerce.

The market watchdog has organized more than 20 of its regional agencies to investigate the allegations, Xinhua said without giving further details. Three telephone calls to the watchdog’s press office in Beijing weren’t answered. Calls to Tetra Pak’s Shanghai office were also not answered. Read more of this post

Christmas Candy Stockpiled in July as Aussie Slump Looms

Christmas Candy Stockpiled in July as Aussie Slump Looms

Andy Adams has already bought his Christmas candy. With the Australian dollar down 12 percent in its longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis, he’s stocking his food store early in anticipation of a further fall.

“We basically doubled the size of our last order. We had to,” said Adams, whose British Sweets and Treats store in the Sydney suburb of Bondi caters to U.K., Irish and American expats craving Maynards Wine Gums, Barry’s Tea, and Baby Ruth bars. “We know the dollar’s going to creep down, so we’re trying to grab it now at a reasonable price.” Read more of this post

Machiavelli doesn’t belong to the 1 percent; “The Prince” is oft-quoted on Wall Street, but its author was a hero of the working class who despised elites

SATURDAY, JUN 29, 2013 11:00 PM MPST

Machiavelli doesn’t belong to the 1 percent

“The Prince” is oft-quoted on Wall Street, but its author was a hero of the working class who despised elites

BY CHRIS MAISANO

I keep a portrait of Machiavelli over my desk at work — an interior design choice that, I have learned, dismays some of my coworkers. Amid a recent mid-afternoon zone out, I received an email from one of them with the title “Who Wants to Serve a Billionaire?” The message contained a link to an article in the Guardian about a growing group of international multi-billionaires, their so-called “superyachts,” and the desperate lower-class Britons and Eastern Europeans who serve them as deckhands. Read more of this post

The Road To Resilience: How Unscientific Innovation Saved Marlin Steel; A little maker of metal baskets shows how U.S. manufacturers can thrive against all comers

THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE: HOW UNSCIENTIFIC INNOVATION SAVED MARLIN STEEL

A LITTLE MAKER OF METAL BASKETS SHOWS HOW U.S. MANUFACTURERS CAN THRIVE AGAINST ALL COMERS.

BY: CHARLES FISHMAN

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Custom-made for a supplier of GM auto parts, this basket holds pump housings firmly in place as they are washed; the mesh top aids water flow. Owner Drew Greenblatt thought Marlin would give him an easy annuity. Then he found himself in a showdown with Chinese competitors.

The American economy has some really quirky corners–places so esoteric or tucked away we hardly notice them. In 1998, Drew Greenblatt bought one of those corners–a company called Marlin Steel that specialized in a single product: wire bagel baskets, which bagel stores use to display their wares. Marlin had the market to itself. “You had the guy who made baskets for the doughnut stores, Dunkin’ Donuts and the like,” Greenblatt says. “You had the guy who made the metal chafer stands that buffet serving dishes sit on, with the cans of Sterno. And you had us, doing the bagel baskets.” Marlin’s customers were the big chains: Einstein Bros., Bruegger’s. “Once in a while, we’d edge into each other’s business,” he says. “The doughnut guy would try to get some bagel stores. But mostly we did our own thing.” Read more of this post

Ferrari-Beating Great Wall Motor Shows Wei Jianjun Forging Next Hyundai

Ferrari-Beating Great Wall Shows Wei Forging Next Hyundai

Wang Jiangwei recalls spending last summer sweating through a month of military drills conducted by Chinese People’s Liberation Army instructors. Wang isn’t a soldier; he’s a researcher at Great Wall Motor Co. His Baoding, China-based employer is so profitable, it generates a fatter margin than any listed carmaker in the world. Behind the success is Chairman Wei Jianjun, who has built China’s biggest SUV maker with a leadership style that stands out for its emphasis on discipline and frugality. “The military training is pretty serious and tough,” said Wang. “Not only new hires but people who get promoted, even those becoming department heads, need to redo training.” Great Wall represents a rare breed of Chinese automakers independent of foreign partners and government, sparing it from having to split profits and endure extra bureaucracy. With the stock surging 60-fold (2333) in Hong Kong since its 2008 low, Wei has become Asia’s wealthiest car executive, with an estimated fortune of $6.5 billion as he strives to create China’s first global automotive brand. “Wei is a real professional, a real entrepreneur,” said Bill Russo, formerly vice president of Chrysler Northeast Asia and now president of automotive consultant Synergistics Ltd. in Beijing. “If there’s one or two automakers able to survive all the competition with foreign rivals in the next decades or so, Great Wall will definitely be one of them.” Read more of this post

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